Category Archives: Rankings

RQS Update – Week 7

Beginning this Monday, teams will be ranked offically by RQS (What’s RQS?), so here’s a look at where the RQS picture currently sits, including where teams would be ranked if RQS were in place now and what RQS/ranking teams can reach based on scores from their next meets.

For reference, these are the RQSs required last season for a series of benchmarks if you’re feverishly watching what a certain team might need:

Advance to regionals – 195.420 RQS
Seeded #3 at regionals – 196.380 RQS
Seeded #2 at regionals – 196.845 RQS
Seeded #1 at regionals – 197.355 RQS

Scores in bold will be part of the six scores used for final RQS and can no longer be removed because the team in question has fewer than six meets remaining (or fewer than three road meets remaining).

1. Oklahoma – 197.535
Road Score 1: 198.125
Road Score 2: 198.050
Road Score 3: 197.550
Home/Road Score 1: 198.150
Home/Road Score 2: 197.525
Home/Road Score 3: 196.425
RQS: 197.535

Maximum possible RQS after next meet: 197.880

Oklahoma has that one low score hanging around after last week but also six opportunities left to drop it with the rest of the scores already looking solid. There is an outside chance that either LSU or UCLA could move up on OU’s #1 ranking this weekend, but Oklahoma can ensure retaining #1 on Monday by scoring just 197.100, which shouldn’t be much to ask.


2. LSU – 197.475
Road Score 1: 198.075
Road Score 2: 197.375
Road Score 3: 197.250
Home/Road Score 1: 198.175
Home/Road Score 2: 197.450
Home/Road Score 3: 197.225
RQS: 197.475

Maximum possible RQS after next meet: 197.665

LSU does have a chance to move as high as #1 after the weekend if the Tigers produce another big number and Oklahoma throws in another weak one, though it’s not the most likely outcome. LSU is already guaranteed to stay at least #3 but is quite close with UCLA, so it would take a 197.925 for LSU to ensure staying ahead of UCLA. 


3. UCLA – 197.460
Road Score 1: 197.750
Road Score 2: 197.625
Road Score 3: 197.300
Home/Road Score 1: 197.950
Home/Road Score 2: 197.425
Home/Road Score 3: 197.200
RQS: 197.460

Maximum possible RQS after next meet: 197.610

UCLA also has a very outside chance to move up #1 after this weekend, or a somewhat more realistic chance to move up to #2. Whether UCLA actually has a chance to move ahead of LSU with a strong result against Oregon State on Sunday will depend on the score LSU puts up against Georgia on Friday, so we’ll know more at that point.

The Bruins do have a solid buffer over Utah, meaning that it will take just a 197.250 for UCLA to ensure staying ahead of Utah.


4. Utah – 197.320
Road Score 1: 197.550
Road Score 2: 197.550
Road Score 3: 196.975
Home/Road Score 1: 197.700
Home/Road Score 2: 197.450
Home/Road Score 3: 197.075
RQS: 197.320

Maximum possible RQS after next meet: 197.465

Utah has a few lower scores hanging around than do LSU and UCLA (that road score still in the 196s, that home score at 197.0), so the peak RQS is not going to be as high. There is an outside possibility that Utah can catch UCLA this weekend, but it would take a 197.675 for Utah to have a chance to tie, and that’s only if UCLA throws in a score of 197.200 or lower.

Utah is quite likely to be able to fend off Florida, and can guarantee staying top 4 with a 197.075 this weekend.


5. Florida – 197.130
Road Score 1: 197.400
Road Score 2: 196.950
Road Score 3: 196.325
Home/Road Score 1: 198.150
Home/Road Score 2: 197.850
Home/Road Score 3: 197.125
RQS: 197.130

Maximum possible RQS after next meet: 197.335

Florida is at home this weekend and will therefore not have a chance to get rid of the 196 road scores, stunting the maximum RQS it can reach. The Gators do still have the slimmest of chances of catching Utah, but it would take a score in the 198s along with a low result from Utah.

Note the 197.400 in bold, which Florida is now guaranteed to keep around with just two road meets remaining. It’s not a bad score, but it’s not exactly the kind of score that’s going to catch the teams ranked above.

Florida is already guaranteed to stay at least #5 in the rankings, so the score this week is about improving the home totals and positioning to make a real move once one of the road scores can be dropped again.

Continue reading RQS Update – Week 7

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Week 7 Rankings

1. Oklahoma Sooners

Average: 197.638
Previous ranking: 1

Oklahoma hangs on for #1 this week because of the sheer size of the lead built up over weeks of 198s, despite the 3-beam-fall 196.425 performance on Friday—the team’s lowest score since January 13, 2012. The last time Oklahoma scored that low, Maile O’Keefe was 9 years old, so just sit with that. The score will be dropped soon to preserve Oklahoma’s ranking, and there’s no reason yet to think this will turn into a thing, the positive bringing a positive because of the return of Natalie Brown, a necessary cog (particularly on floor) if Oklahoma is going to score its best.


2. LSU Tigers

Average: 197.481
Previous ranking: 4

The story thus far had been LSU not hitting up to potential, throwing in a score-smothering mistake in nearly every meet. That trend was reversed in a two-meet weekend in which the Tigers were able to rest people here and there and still put up two complete meets for 198s, restoring the #2 ranking and rendering the RQS picture much healthier. Of particular importance were the three hit routines from Ruby Harrold in the second meet, as her presence on those three events still should be part of LSU’s best-case-scenario lineups.


3. UCLA Bruins

Average: 197.357
Previous ranking: 2

UCLA recorded a perfectly acceptable score of 197.425 at home against Utah but will be displeased by the performance, not only losing the meet but performing far from its peak level, throwing in multiple mistakes, and regressing in quality closer to what we saw in the first meet of the season. Many of the errors didn’t seem like they would be repeated errors, though watch what happens with the Nia Dennis floor routine since she has struggled with that double Arabian multiple times this season and is averaging 9.757 despite being Nia Dennis. Downgrade? Kocian comes into the lineup? Maybe some decisions to make there. It’s very difficult to do a double Arabian for no deduction in NCAA unless you’re Kennedy Baker.


4. Utah Utes

Average: 197.329
Previous ranking: 3

Utah will certainly feel better about the meet against UCLA than the Bruins will (because of winning and all), though it was not a peak performance for the Utes by any means either, with victory determined mostly by committing smaller mistakes than UCLA did. The performance quality improved as the meet went on (floor was precise, beam mostly secure), though the team gave away quite a bit in the first half of the meet on vault and bars, not landing the way we would expect. That’s something still to be ironed out, though it seems like Utah has settled into final lineups already—I don’t necessarily see anyone else outperforming the people currently competing. 


Continue reading Week 7 Rankings

RQS Outlook

The NCAA regular season has reached its halfway point, which means it’s time to start watching scores a little closer and time to take this season’s first deep look at the RQS picture. (What’s RQS?)

Who’s already fine? Who desperately needs what road scores and when? Let’s get into it.

NOTE: Teams will still be ranked by season average until the rankings of February 26, when RQS officially takes over. So, teams without an RQS right now still have two more weeks to record the necessary scores.

For reference, these are the RQSs required last season for a series of benchmarks if you’re feverishly watching what a certain team might need:

Advance to regionals – 195.420 RQS
Seeded #3 at regionals – 196.380 RQS
Seeded #2 at regionals – 196.845 RQS
Seeded #1 at regionals – 197.355 RQS

As a whole, scores are a little higher this year than they were at the same point last season (ACT SURPRISED), so keep that in mind as well.

Scores in bold will be part of the six scores used for final RQS and can no longer be removed because the team in question has fewer than six meets remaining.

1. Oklahoma
Road Score 1: 198.125
Road Score 2: 198.050
Road Score 3: 197.550
Home/Road Score 1: 198.150
Home/Road Score 2: 197.525
Home/Road Score 3:
RQS: N/A

Oklahoma started its season later this year and therefore doesn’t have enough scores for an RQS yet. But, as is typical, the Sooners already have five usable scores and are on track to finish the regular season at #1. Last season, Oklahoma made history by being the second team ever to finish the season with an RQS in the 198s. That all-time record of 198.055 (UCLA 2004) seems within reach again, but the Sooners will need to erase those 197.5s over the next seven meets to get there.


2. UCLA
Road Score 1: 197.750
Road Score 2: 197.625
Road Score 3: 197.300
Home/Road Score 1: 197.950
Home/Road Score 2: 197.200
Home/Road Score 3: 196.250
RQS: 197.225

We’re accustomed to watching the scores a little bit closer for UCLA as the Bruins typically have one bad road score hanging around for way too long, but not this year. UCLA just needs to drop that 196.250 and replace it with another solid 197 to ensure a comfortable spot in the rankings. Staying at #2 and holding off the likes of LSU, Florida, and Utah, however, will likely require bumping up those 197.2s as well.


3. Utah
Road Score 1: 197.550
Road Score 2: 196.975
Road Score 3:
Home/Road Score 1: 197.700
Home/Road Score 2: 197.450
Home/Road Score 3: 197.075
RQS: N/A

The Utes have a little more work left to do. The top three scores here are totally usable, but they’ll want three more scores of an equivalent level to clinch a solid ranking. (This is all relative—Utah is going to be fine for an acceptable regionals seeding regardless of what happens here on out, but they’d like the stay right with the other members of the top 5.) Utah does have a week off at the beginning of March, which means there are only five meets remaining to get those three more mid-197s. Continue reading RQS Outlook

Week 6 Rankings

1. Oklahoma Sooners

Average: 197.880
Previous ranking: 1

Oklahoma once again widens its lead over the rest of the country with a third-straight score of 198. The Sooners own three of the four 198s recorded so far this season and are setting up for yet another assault on the RQS record after coming so close last season. This week’s 198.150 was not Oklahoma’s strongest performance of the season despite the giant score, with two OOBs on floor and no sticks on vault, but even with those errors on floor, Oklahoma is starting to show the skeleton of what would work as competitive floor six as long as Natalie Brown is able to return to the lineup, floor having been the one question mark so far this year.


2. UCLA Bruins

Average: 197.346
Previous ranking: 4

UCLA makes the big leap from 4th to 2nd this week after a road 197.750 in a victory over Cal. That’s the highest road score by a non-Oklahoma team so far this season, one achieved without full-strength lineups (because these scores, you guys), which means it may be time to start discussing UCLA not simply as a Super Six team but as a possible title contender. The jump between categories has been made largely because of a reinvented floor lineup that’s far superior to last season’s group, though the perennial vault concern has not disappeared. Vault comparison will be a significant feature of next week’s clash against Utah.


3. Utah Utes

Average: 197.292
Previous ranking: 2

The Utes drop behind UCLA this week after a fine-but-unremarkable 197.075 at home. It’s a score the team won’t expect to keep around for the RQS picture in a performance marked by counting a 9.650 on floor—an event where Utah typically would have expected to run up the total (of note, Soloski sat for this meet). Utah enters the testing portion of its season schedule now with four away meets in its remaining five, which theoretically will make it more challenging to rack up big scores. Then again, no one expects next Sunday’s meet at UCLA to be scored conservatively.


4. LSU Tigers

Average: 197.267
Previous ranking: 3

LSU drops another spot this week amidst the same old story we’ve been telling for at least the last month: the potential for a huge performance was marred by one mistake, keeping the Tigers in the lower end of the 197s. This time, it was a counting fall on beam after misses from both Campbell and Edney. LSU is usually able to mix-and-match with that third spot in the beam lineup, and do so comfortably, but with the hitting struggles this year (falls in 4 of 6 meets), I wonder if the coaches will change course and opt for stability. It’s inevitable that LSU will break out for a big total soon (this weekend’s two meets provide some juicy options), but it has been six weeks now and we haven’t seen this team really hit yet.


Continue reading Week 6 Rankings

Week 5 Rankings

1. Oklahoma Sooners

Average: 197.813
Previous ranking: 1

Oklahoma extends its lead over all the other teams after a second-straight road 198 in an already-famous visit to UCLA. Six 10s were awarded between the two teams—one shy of the all-time record set in 1997. (Not a role model.) Again this week, the score is probably not representative of current level, but the Sooners nonetheless continued to prove that they are the top team in the country on three events. That’s enough to carry them ahead of most other schools, but floor is still a swirl of uncertainty. Also, Nicole Lehrmann’s bars was the best routine Oklahoma had that day, and it wasn’t one of the 10s. There. I said it.


2. Utah Utes

Average: 197.335
Previous ranking: 3

Utah leapfrogs LSU for the week thanks to a season-high 197.700 in victory over Washington. That 197.7 outpaces LSU’s season-high by .250 and is the #5 score recorded in NCAA so far this year. It’s the success of Merrell-Giles—who has moved very close to catching Skinner in the national all-around rankings—that is fueling the Utes’ rise to #2, as they now have two big AAers to rely on instead of one, which is particularly useful in keeping those vault and floor scores high. The control of the landings on vault was the highlight of the 197 performance, looking very March/April.


3. LSU Tigers

Average: 197.290
Previous ranking: 2

LSU will be frustrated again with the weekend’s showing, having to count a 9.400 mistake on bars that prevented the team from recording a 197.5+, which all the other top contenders have done at least once so far this season. Ergo, the Tigers drop to #3. The big positive was getting Priessman into the floor lineup since she’ll be a necessary member of a best-case-scenario floor six in the postseason (now to have Priessman and Desiderio at the same time), but left unresolved are the mystery position on beam and the Ruby Harrold situation. Harrold has been out on vault and floor lately, and just fell on bars, and it’s a concern.  


4. UCLA Bruins

Average: 197.265
Previous ranking: 4

Despite losing to Oklahoma by a tenth at home, UCLA can have few complaints about that meet or the season-high 197.950 that came with it. There’s no question that several of those routines would not be getting 10s at a normal meet, but the bigger takeaway was UCLA kind of/sort of being able to keep pace with Oklahoma through the majority of a meet. Beam is at the same level, and floor is actually more consistent. (What world is this?) Where UCLA fell behind was in using too many Yfulls and in the early half of the bars lineup, which was a clear step behind what Oklahoma brought in form and handstands. Still, UCLA is in the same stadium as the #1 team, which is something, and is moving closer in the rankings to #2 and #3 despite still having to absorb that 196.2 from the first week.

Continue reading Week 5 Rankings

National Team Rankings – February 2018

How It Works
Taking into account all scores recorded at competitions in the last six months, each nation is given a team total based on how its best-scoring group of five senior gymnasts would do in a hypothetical 3-up, 3-count team final.

Each individual’s best scores may come from any official competition (they need not all be from the same meet), and whichever group of five gymnasts would produce the highest score is the one selected.

Countries that have not shown enough senior routines in the last six months to fill a 3-up, 3-count team on each event are not included.

Rankings will be updated on or around the first of each month, and scores will expire after six months in order to provide the most up-to-date snapshot of where nations are at the current moment. The current rankings include only scores from August 2017–January 2018.

Leaving the rankings this month were Belarus and Bulgaria, temporarily without enough scores on each event in the last six months to put together a team.

Last month’s ranking is in parentheses. Continue reading National Team Rankings – February 2018

Week 4 Rankings

1. Oklahoma Sooners

Average: 197.733
Previous ranking: 1

Oklahoma remains #1 and extends its lead over #2 LSU after scoring 198.125 in an away loss to Florida. The result will sting. It’s the Sooners’ first loss since January 2016 and comes in a meet where they’ll have justification for feeling cheated out of a win by the crazy judging (though it must be said that Oklahoma received a fair few gifts of its own en route to breaking the 198 barrier). Feel free to ignore the scores because they were meaningless nonsense, but the performance is nonetheless one Oklahoma will accept for a January meet even though the strain of being without Natalie Brown—and now Jade Degouveia with plantar fasciitis—does show.


2. LSU Tigers

Average: 197.306
Previous ranking: 2

LSU retains its #2 ranking and increases its season average after scoring 197.375 at Metroplex, a score about on par with what the Tigers have been doing all month. It will be difficult, however, to see past the loss. It’s the team’s first loss of the season, coming against a school it was expected to beat too. The primary difference-maker in the loss was beam, where LSU dropped multiple tenths to a currently unstoppable UCLA lineup. A few 9.7s on floor didn’t help either, but getting Desiderio into the floor six is still a victory for the future prospects of the lineup, even if the 9.7 this week wasn’t ideal.


3. Utah Utes

Average: 197.244
Previous ranking: 3

Utah also retains its ranking position by recording a season-high 197.550 in a road victory over Arizona. The most encouraging part of the performance was beam, where a couple of the previously struggling(ish) members of the lineup showed season-best routines by about a billion tenths, making that six look much more competitive than it had in recent weeks. Utah will also be buoyed by the performances of Merrell-Giles and Lee, who were able to carry the load with 9.9s, showing that the team doesn’t have to be a one-Skinner show and can succeed even when she is not at her very best.


4. UCLA Bruins

Average: 197.094
Previous ranking: 4

UCLA stays in 4th but will be absolutely flying after heading to Metroplex and defeating the favored LSU. That 197.625 is the third-highest score in the country so far this year (behind the OU/Florida crack festival), also ranking as the team’s highest road score since 2010 Super Six and highest January score since 2004. (“Thank you, Metroplex. Sincerely, everyone who has ever competed there.”) The most significant accomplishment, however, was outscoring LSU on vault and floor, which few would have seen coming as recently as November and starts to make a real argument for UCLA’s top-3 competitiveness this year. Continue reading Week 4 Rankings